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The Greatest: My Own Story

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  591 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
In his own words, the heavyweight champion of the world pulls no punches as he chronicles the battles he faced in and out of the ring in this fascinating memoir edited by Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Toni Morrison.

Growing up in the South, surrounded by racial bigotry and discrimination, Ali fought not just for a living, but also for respect and rewards far more precious t
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published October 1st 1975 by Book Sales
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May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
One of the best books I have read on boxing. I must admit though it slows down in the middle, understandably as Ali talks about his 3 year hiatus from boxing and gets fairly political which I didn't find enormously interesting as that's been fairly well documented. The bits and insights about boxing are incredible. It really starts to pick up in the last 7 chapters when Ali talks about his comeback fights against Quarry, Frazier and of course Foreman. The rumble in the jungle fight especially is ...more
Nov 03, 2018 added it
Shelves: sports
There was a time when Muhammad Ali was one of the most recognizable figures on the planet.He may not have been the greatest boxer,he did lose several fights,but he was the best at marketing himself.He began life as Cassius Clay and as an upstart,knocked out Sonny Liston to become the heavy weight champion of the world.He also won an Olympic gold.Refusing to fight in Vietnam,he was
stripped of his title and threw his olympic gold medal in a river.Later,he regained the title and had some memorable
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Truly the greatest and definitely the Peoples Champion. This is one those books where you get so much more that you though. I have always heard of Muhammad Ali the great boxer and fighter, but really that is all I really knew about him his classic wars made him legendary, but what really struck me now are his principles. Many people call him stubborn and cocky, but this was really honor and confidence. If Muhammad Ali got an idea in his had he would do it. If he believed something was wrong they ...more
Steven Kent
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
I read this book when it first came out and believed every word of it. Years later, Ali acknowledged that others dictated some of the stories in it for political and promotional reasons, and that the stories were simply untrue.

The book is readable enough and some of the insights seem genuine enough. Later books, especially King of the World, by David Remnick, do Ali and the reader more justice.
Arthur Buchkovich
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. Not only did it give me the insights into Ali's thought processes both in and out of the ring, but I was also surprised at the insights offered on the "race war". It was nice to get a new perspective on the situation in those days and it definitely challenged some of my own preconceived notions.
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book from Goodreads. I loved this book. That is not to say that The Greatest is the greatest book but it brought me back to my youth. I grew up watching Ali and he was one of the most remarkable figures of our time or any time. To relive his life through his eyes was a great read for me.
Chris Gager
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it
My copy was a gift and was a paperback. Given as "joke" gift in the late 1970's. I won't explain. Did I ever read it? I can only say maybe but it was on my shelf for a while anyway. My 900th book added to the "read" list. Date read is a guess...
احمد هلال
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
الحمدرب العالمين
قصة حياة محمد على كما أملاها.
Iman Ben chaibah
I mourn his death even more now
I got through 300 pages and decided I just cannot continue. I feel guilty for not finishing it, but I just cannot do it. Once I got to the transcription of the conversation with Joe Fraizer I had to call it quits, it couldn't hold my interest. I have a lot of conflicted feelings about not finishing the book, but it might take me weeks more and I would resent reading it.

His story seems like it is very interesting, although after reading reviews it sounds like some of it may have been fictionaliz
Wendell Cooper
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this one a very long time ago and recently pulled it out again. Let me preface by saying I have watched almost all of his pro fights, including the Cassius Clay period. So I wasn't surprised by anything in the book.I don't think hardcore boxing fans will find much new info here.

However, if you don't understand the significance of Ali in history then this is a good book.The period covers his loss of the title, not in the ring , but by the courts.The book includes his losses to Frazier and
Ahmed Rashad
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
محمد علي كلاي، منذ اللحظة الأولى التي ترى فيها وجهه وتسمع أسمه تجد شىء يجذبك إليه ويربطك به، لا تعلم حقيقة تلك الحالة، ولكنك تستشعر بأنك قريب منه، هو سر يختفي بين تفاصيل نضاله ومعاناته مع أبناء جيله من أصحاب البشرة السمراء في بلاد العم سام، قبل أن أقراء تلك السيرة كنت أستشعر كل تلك الأحاسيس وبعد قراءتي إزدادت وتفاقمت وتشعبت بداخلي مصاحبة برغبة ملحة في بقاء تلك الحالة وتأجيج ذلك الشعور فمجرد وجوده يضفي علي حالة من الصفاء والأمان والراحة لم أستشعرها مع أقرب البشر إليّ، يبدو لي أن تلك الحالة هي طاق ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
So much of this is gold. The mindset stuff, the philosophy of winning and losing, the work that goes into being the champ, the raw power of the writing itself. The audio book is mint.

There's plenty of bullshit too, but totally worth it.
Saqib Khan
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you're feeling down in the dumps, this is the perfect pill for you. I almost started jogging for miles inspired by it. And that's just skimming the surface. Shows you the hatred the whites had for the black back in the day poignantly.
Carl Smith-owens
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fighting-arts
R.K. Byers
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i almost flunked outta Howard reading this.
Apr 05, 2016 added it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
I know I read this before, but I don't think I would recommend it to anyone.
Apr 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for any boxing fan!!!!
Ron Frampton
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of ALI and I loved this book, It was very open and matter of fact about his life.I have to say it was one of better sports book I have read.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
En otrolig berättelse om en otrolig människa. Denna mannen levde verkligen för boxningen på den tiden då han var aktiv.
Allt han beskriver; sina tankar, hur han tränade, ja allt - galet!
Usman Hameed
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Muhammad Ali's autobiography: very inspiring and moving!!
Colin Slider
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
the passages regarding his physical and mental preparation for fights are amongst the best I've read on getting into the mind of a fighter
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
The "Louisville Lip" tells his story (as of 1975). So entertaining! I loved it.
Sourav Hasan
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing

নতুন বইয়ের দোকানের চেয়ে পুরোনো বইয়ের দোকানই আমাকে বেশি টানে,তাতে করে যেমন পকেটের পয়সা বাঁচে( এবং সেই বেঁচে যাওয়া পয়সা দিয়ে আরো কিছু বই কেনা যায়), আর পরায়ই এমনসব জিনিস খুঁজে পাওয়া যায় যেগুলো সংগরহ করে রেখে দিলেও মনের শানতি।

নীলকষেতের এক পুরোনো বইয়ের দোকানে এই বই দেখে আর দেরি করিনি,ঝটপট বাগিয়ে নিয়েছিলাম। বলা যায় পয়সা পুরোটা উসুল হয়েছে।

বইটি পড়ে আলি'র জীবনকে মুটামুটি তিনভাগে ভাগ করা যায়, পরথমতঃ মুষটিযুদধে মুহমমদ আলি'র কযারিয়ার গড়ে উঠা থেকে শুরু করে ভিয়েতনাম যুদধে ন
Michelle Gurr
As a child of the 70’s, I grew up watching Ali fight, listening to my dad rave about The Greatest boxer. I thought very highly of him, I believed he was someone for my kids to look up to....until this book. He was a bigot and a racial separatist. I was brought up to see people, not color. After listening to this book, it was clear that he did not like white people. I did a little more digging online and found quotes that didn’t sit well with me. In a wide-ranging 1968 interview with Bud Collins, ...more
Cindy Leighton
Growing up in a white, conservative neighborhood during the Muhammad Ali and Vietnam years, I was vaguely aware that there was a very important, talented boxer that a lot of people (in my world) didn't like. . . but not really understanding why. I of course have learned more since, but this book was eye opening - I continue to be astounded by the levels of hatred and hateful acts that Whites have committed to intimidate or just outright hurt Blacks in America.

Written in 1975 the events of the 19
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have such respect and admiration for this man that there's no way my rating for this autobiography could be even slightly "objective". Even though it took me longer than usual to finish the book, I always felt the honor of witnessing, even through words, such a legend, such an icon and learning more about what made him one of the greatest, most controversial and in my opinion inspirational people in history.

I'm such a big fan of sports -not so much of boxing but nevertheless, the fighting s
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ali's story as told by Ali in 1975 (before the end of his boxing career). He could have easily spent most of his time breaking down each of his fights and going through them in detail. While there is some of that, most of the book focuses on the in-between times (especially his exile). Some of the stories are priceless - like the time he and Joe Frazier drove to New York together (before they fought for the first time). The way Ali tells it is epic and hilarious. He spends significant time on Ci ...more
3 stars. Highly entertaining, but the supposed factuality of it should be taken with a big grain of salt. Ali's voice comes through the words (Dion Graham's audiobook narration is also quite a good mimic), and I was laughing throughout at his humor, ringside taunts, and poetry. What a unique and headstrong individual!

Ali or co-writer Richard Durham does something very interesting with the structure of the book at one point that I haven't seen before. To tell the story of his first marriage, rath
Paul Stafford
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like any autobiography, this reads like a hagiography at times. But there are passages in these pages when Ali is candid and honest about his mistakes among the moments when he's grandstanding and true to his public persona. But that is as much a part of the allure of Ali as any. This is not intended to be a history book, but it provides an insight to the circus and Ali's life like no other book can. Such a fascinating life makes for fascinating reading, and the ghost writing renders it immacula ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Greatest: My Own Story - Mohammad Ali (4 stars) 4 11 Jul 21, 2016 01:17PM  
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“I'm a fighter. I believe in the eye-for-an-eye business. I'm no cheek turner. I got no respect for a man who won't hit back. You kill my dog, you better hide your cat.” 374 likes
“It takes pride and a tiger’s drive to build up the confidence, the ego, the power to defeat an opponent in the ring. It” 0 likes
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